2.7 Can I install it from a pile of floppy disks?
First of all, a warning: whole Debian GNU/Linux is way too large to be
installed from media as small as a standard 1.44MB floppy disk - you may not
find installing from floppies a very pleasant experience.
Copy the Debian packages onto formatted floppy disks. Either a DOS, the native
Linux "ext2", or the "minix" format will do; one just has
to use a mount command appropriate to the floppy being used.
Using floppy disks has these complications:
Short MS-DOS file names: If you are trying to place Debian package files onto
MS-DOS formatted disks, you will find that their names are generally too long,
and do not conform to the MS-DOS 8.3 filename limitation. To overcome this,
you would have to use VFAT formatted disks, since VFAT supports longer file
Large file sizes: Some packages are larger than 1.44 MBytes, and will not fit
onto a single floppy disk. To solve this problem, use the dpkg-split tool (see
dpkg-split, Section 126.96.36.199),
available in the tools directory on
You must have support in the kernel for floppy disks in order to read and write
to floppy disk; most kernels come with floppy drive support included in them.
To mount a floppy disk under the mount point /floppy (a directory
which should have been created during installation), use:
mount -t ext2 /dev/fd0 /floppy/
if the floppy disk is in drive A: and has an ext2 (i.e., a normal Linux) file